Welcome to issue #224 of meshedsociety weekly.
If you want to tell someone about this email, just forward it or point them to weekly.meshedsociety.com.
I hope you are great. I am sitting here, drinking a glass of wine, listening to Jazz (probably the only music genre which I don't like in the traditional sense yet actively pick occasionally - it's perfect as background sound during evening work), hoping that you'll find something interesting in this week's recommendations!
Let's get to it!
Note: Some of the publications may use “soft” paywalls. If you are denied access, open the URL in your browser’s incognito/private mode (or subscribe if you find yourself reading a lot of the content on a specific site and want to support it).
Last issue's top 3 most clicked articles:
- I Tried Emailing Like a CEO and Quite Frankly, It Made My Life Better
(buzzfeed.com, 7 minutes)
Being slightly impolite (because extremely brief) but quick worked very well for Katie Notopoulos.
- Fake News Is an Oracle
(locusmag.com, 9 minutes)
Cory Doctorow explores the topic of fake news and conspiracy theories from a different angle than what is usually being done: He likens these phenomena to the trauma of living in a world where there is ample evidence that our truth-seeking exercises can’t be trusted.
- What content dominates on YouTube?
(blog.pex.com, 5 minutes)
Music. And when it comes to the distribution of views in general: 0.64% of all videos ever reach more than 100,000 views, and these videos represent 81.6% of all views on the platform.
- How I made money podcasting and why you probably don’t want to
(blog.usejournal.com, 13 minutes)
Fascinating account from “ how he becameJapan’s first professional podcaster”, built a little media business, worked 80-hour-weeks with good revenue for one person but not enough to hire staff, gave up on the business by taking a full time job, and also about how podcasting changed him as a person.
- The Threat Of Automation Is A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
(palladiummag.com, 15 minutes)
The last sentence of this essay is a good tl;dr: “Automation is a threat only because we believe it to be a threat, but it would stop being one if we acknowledged just how underrated humans are.“
- How the Smartphone Helped Save the Planet
(wired.com, 6 minutes)
Some might find the headline hyperbolic (and I actually modified it and replaced “iPhone” with “Smartphone”), but the point made is important to take into account: Billions of people buying smartphones isn’t automatically damaging the environment more than if these people wouldn’t have bought smartphones – because the smartphone replaced so many tools and gadgets that people now don’t buy anymore. As the author puts it, the smartphone let us dematerialize our consumption.
- Jony Ive’s Fragmented Legacy: Unreliable, Unrepairable, Beautiful Gadgets
(ifixit.com, 4 minutes)
Seen from the perspective presented in the previous piece, maybe this “unrepairable” legacy must be considered the price we paid for having gotten the ability to dematerialize our consumption elsewhere…?
- Eskilstuna: how a Swedish town became the world capital of recycling
(theguardian.com, 12 minutes)
The city of Eskilstuna is home to a small shopping mall named “ReTuna“, where everything on sale is secondhand or recycled.
- In Japan, a growing number of car-sharing users don’t rent cars for driving
(asahi.com, 4 minutes)
This makes sense: In crowded (Japanese) cities, paying a fee for short-term access to a car in order to get a break from all the people to nap, relax or think, could be worth it.
- The Families Who Use Slack and Asana at Home
(theatlantic.com, 7 minutes)
Makes me wonder if there is a market opportunity/need for a particular communication and management app targeting families.
- Hidden VPN owners unveiled: 97 VPN products run by just 23 companies
(vpnpro.com, 10 minutes)
The VPN industry is characterized by lack of transparency and convoluted ownership structures – and a few of the companies involved are based in China.
- Hong Kong’s protesters use AirDrop to breach China’s Firewall
(qz.com, 3 minutes)
Smart use case for AirDrop. Who knows where else this will come handy in the future.
- Social Media and Thought Leadership for Founders
(thisisgoingtobebig.com, 10 minutes)
How to combine being an entrepreneur/startup founder and a thought leader, and why that can be a good move.
- Response Rate is a Quality Signal
(acrowdedspace.com, 3 minutes)
Some insightful remarks on the information that emails which ask how happy a customer was with a specific service/product, provide to the sender.
- Diversify Your Friendship Portfolio
(lesswrong.com, 2 minutes)
An intriguing analogy: As it is widely suggested to diversify one’s financial investments, one could apply the same concept to friendships.
- Hey, grownups, it’s time to lose the backpack
(inquirer.com, 3 minutes)
Turns out, the backpack has become a thing in day-to-day (business) life among grown-ups (in the moment I read this I realized how true this is, at least in the countries in which I spend my time), but the simple backpack etiquette (“Take it off in crowded spaces”) isn’t always followed. It’s meant as a serious read (I guess) but it’s also hilarious.
- Why LinkedIn is the only social network that survives breakups
(cnbc.com, 4 minutes)
Apropos hilarious (as a topic someone felt worth covering). But at least for myself, it’s definitely true.
- For 40 Years, Crashing Trains Was One of America’s Favorite Pastimes
(atlasobscura.com, 6 minutes)
Incredible. I can see why people found this fascinating. Let’s see whether in 100 years there’ll be an equivalent for today’s new technology.
If you want to say thank you for meshedsociety weekly with a small contribution, you can do so easily through Paypal. Just click on the image and on the page that'll open, choose the amount.
You can also support me using Patreon:
Thanks for subscribing and supporting.
P.S. another weekly newsletter that I create: Swedish Tech Weekly.
meshedsociety weekly - made in Stockholm (or somewhere else).